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Going Solar Part 3 – I Traded in my Range Rover for a Nissan Leaf

So last month I traded in my Range Rover for a Nissan Leaf. No really. After my first 1,000 miles here are some rambling thoughts, early observations and opinions on living with an EV… Autumn Leaf I’ve been driving SUV’s for more than 7 years, but in 2013 I had my first test drive in an […]

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Video: iTouch Energy Show Off Clever Solar Vertical Blinds and Shutters

Northern Ireland startup iTouch Energy have been developing an innovative solar blind for several years now… Our mission is to bring Sustainable Energy and Smart Home Technology into homes and offices through the vertical window space of high-rise buildings, especially in metropolitan cities where roof top solar panels solution is not viable. Just last month the […]

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Video: Elon Musk Reveals Tesla Powerwall 2 & Solar Roof Tiles

Elon Musk took to the stage in the early hours of this morning, UK time, to reveal a new Tesla Powerwall 2 with 14kWh of storage and a peak output of 7kW for $5,500. Musk also announced the commercial product Powerpack 2 with 210kWh storage with a peak output of 50kW.  To transition to an […]

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Going Solar Part 2 – Costs, Incentives & Payback Time

Last month we Installed a 4kW Solar Array at the Automated Home. The first thing everyone asks is how much it cost and what the payback time is. While the finances may not be your only motivation for installing solar they are important and there are several figures that feed into the equation. While some are guesstimates others are more certain. Here […]

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Going Solar Part 1 – Installing a 4kW PV Array at the Automated Home

Having watched the price of photovoltaic solar panels steadily fall over the last few years and seeing a drop in incentives looming on the horizon, we decided to pull the trigger on a system for the Automated Home. We had visits from 3 local companies to quote for a 4kW PV system. That’s the largest single […]

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My Belfast Test Drive in a Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous

If you’re a regular Automated Home reader you’ll have noticed a few electric car stories creeping in over the last couple of years along with more Tesla coverage (including their Powerwall) too. I got a quick indoor passenger run in a Model S earlier this year while at the Gadget Show Live at the NEC and […]

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Eco-Heating Systems with a Twist

After working for many years as a production engineer, Patrick Littlehales started to creating his own eco-heating systems. He claims many of the installations he has designed and installed over the last decade end up as ‘zero-cost’ systems which actually return an annual profit to the home owner. A compulsive inventor, he describes his installations as usually incorporating an […]

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SMA Sunny Home Manager Maximises Self Consumption for Solar PV Owners

Exporting the unused energy produced on domestic Solar PV systems is a bad idea. The current rate in our area is only around £0.03 per kWh and some countries are removing export tariffs completely, It’s much better then to use every ounce of your home made energy yourself and well known German manufacturer SMA has a […]

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Efergy Engage Hub Monitors Home Energy Consumption & PV Solar Generation Online

We all know the story, you need to be able to measure something before you can set about implementing changes. It’s no different for your home’s power consumption, so lets get measuring and saving. There are plenty of home energy monitors around but the engage hub kit from UK based Efergy is a little different. Instead of a […]

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Useful Gadget of the Week: Energenie 30 Minute Run Down Timer Plug

Over complicating stuff can be something of a habit with some home automators but sometimes the KISS principal is best observed. Here’s a gadget that should be a cheaper and more reliable way of automatically turning off those devices we always worry about leaving on… The Rundown Timer is perfect for those of us who leave the […]

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